Tag Archives: custom dress

Amazing Victorian Wedding Dresses

Dress 2“No two wedding dresses the same”—-this is the motto of the dressmaker.

All of us are so different—different lives, different interests, different bodies.

Inspiration Plate
Inspiration Plate

So why should we try to fit ourselves into ready-made wedding gowns?  Or try to fit a wedding gown to our selves when the style and fit aren’t quite right?

Of course, getting a custom gown isn’t for everyone.  The process is a bit more intense—-an unlimited amount of choices, thousands of possible fabrics and textures, a custom fitting process that begins with a cotton prototype that we mail to you, and lots of sketching.

Victorian Wedding GownBut the result is something that you were involved with from start to finish.  It is simply a piece that is more individual.

Original Sketch
Original Sketch

The pics show one of our most recent “natural form” style Victorian gowns.  This gown was made from gorgeous silk shantung in a gorgeous cream color with vivid teal blue and brown deerskin leather trimming.

Like many of our Victorian gowns, this one began with an inspiration from a Victorian fashion plate.

The client loved the ruched front and the draped contrast bow on the side.  We also loved the idea of doing a very trim late Victorian silhouette—definitely not what you usually think of as a ball skirt shape, but something with a more modern (and yet still Victorian) feeling.

Victorian Bustle DressBut we didn’t want to do a straight reproduction style dress either.  Custom Victorian Wedding Gown

The Victorian-era was one of the most inventive and experimental periods in history.  And so we wanted to be equally inventive.

We embroidered the corset and added flower shaped filagree buttons and draped chains and added filagree buttons to the bows.

Dress CHARMSBut we had the most fun designing the deerskin trimmed shrug and the deerskin belt and pouch (in which the bride kept the groom’s ring and vows).

We also added heavy swing clasps to the corset.

All of our dresses are so different and unique—just like the clients that contact us.

So if you are getting married and might like a dress, just contact us and we can talk more.

Every year, we make outfits for clients all over the world.  To get the ideal fit, we cut and sew a mock-up version of the dress and mail this to you and then have you send digital pics of the fitting so we can get the perfect style and look.

To get started, send us an email ( superhero@vigilantelabs.com ) and we will get back to you with more ideas.  We can do pretty much anything and make any dress in any size!

 

Victorian Wedding Gowns

Victorian Wedding GownWe make some of the most amazing custom dresses out there.

You let us know a bit about yourself and your style and we start sketching.Victorian Wedding

This dress, however, is the one that I have been promising to post for the last few months:  My own wedding dress.

As a designer and dressmaker, choosing the right fabrics and details for a once in a lifetime experience is especially challenging.  Victorian Wedding Ceremony

I had so many strange and wonderful ideas and obsessions, spent so much time thinking about different colors and textures.

What I ended up making was partially based on a pattern that I recreated in my size from a Victorian-era fashion magazine, and partially emerged from my own fantasies and a lot of thought about what would look good on me.Bustle Gown

Gold Wedding DressThe base fabrics are hand-underlined silk duppionis:  iridescent gold and brown for the body, with flowers handcrafted in purple, teal, and gold-orange iridescent colors.

Victorian Steampunk BustleHand underlining the silks adds structure and wrinkle resistance and makes it possible to sculpt the silks into any shape you can dream up.

The front of the dress has a wide panel of tulle that is gathered over the base fabric to add dimension and texture.  The green detailing on the bodice is made up of many sewn on iridescent beetle wings.  The wings of these gorgeous Asian dung beetles can be pierced easily with a needle—a traditional Victorian needlecraft.

Steampunk WeddingMy hat is made from sculpted leather and was made to go with the outfit by ArtsMyths here in Denver.

So if we are making you a dress, we can definitely help you out with a hat as well, either a silk, straw or wool hat made by us or an incredible leather hat made by Tiffany Smyth of ArtsMyths and her workshop.

We specialize in making non-traditional wedding dresses.  Some of them are tea-length 1950s style dresses.  Some of them Victorian and Edwardian.  Some of them incredible fantasy dresses.  And many of them are in full color—white dresses are gorgeous but don’t look great on everyone.

We also do make dresses for customers all over the world.  To make sure we get the fit right, we mail you a cotton mock-up of the dress first to try on.  You send us digital pics of yourself wearing it, and we alter the pattern so that we can get something that fits you wonderfully.

We can make dresses to fit every size and shape!

If you are thinking about a custom dress, please contact us via email (superhero@vigilantelabs.com) and we will get started sketching something unique for you and sourcing gorgeous  fabrics from around the world.

Amazing photographs are by Denver/Fort Collins area photographer Sarah Christine Photography.  Be sure to check out her website if you are getting married in Colorado!

Designing a Wedding Dress

An 1876 fashion plate from Harper's Bazar

We are making many wonderful wedding dresses this season, but especially exciting is the dress that I am making for my own wedding.

A.J. and I are getting married this summer and are planning our wedding attire.  Right now I am in the process of designing my dress.

If you order a custom wedding dress, I will work with you in much the same way to create a unique dress that reflects your style and inspiration.

Inspiration for a wedding dress can come from all sorts of places.

I have always enjoyed looking through old fashion magazines and studying vintage garments.

1875 Ball Gown from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The 1876 fashion plate to the left shows the general silhouette and details that I like.

Silk duppioni in a variety of colors, along with a maize taffeta and chartreuse duchess satin

The mid-1870s is a popular period for steampunk wear as you can get very creative with trimmings but the bustle shape is still fairly subtle and flattering.

The red dress pictured is from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, an extensive collection worth browsing online.

(And if you find a dress that you love in the MET’s collection, I would love to recreate it for you with some modern touches).

Worth dress c.1900 of flocked silk satin

I love the gathering & puffing details on the skirt, the lacing on the back of the dress, and the color.

I knew that I wanted to have a colored dress, and I can’t wait for the fabric swatches I ordered to arrive.

While the Victorian era saw the establishment of the white or ivory wedding dress, many brides at the time wore colored dresses that they would rework and wear again after the wedding (most wedding gowns of the time were high-necked and long-sleeved, so they would serve as day wear once retrimmed).

Silk duppioni is one of my favorite fabrics, and I hope to combine a main dress fabric of greenish gold with accents of vivid blues, violets, and greens.

A Haeckel illustration

A.J. and I have also been discussing using our vinyl cutter to create custom heat-transfer flock prints for parts of the dress, to create an effect like the 1900s Worth dress of flocked satin above.

Haeckel illustration of jellyfish

It is amazing how the panels of the dress are cut and sewn to maximize the effect of the print.  I was lucky enough to see this dress in person at one of my History of Costume classes held at the Met Museum when I was at Pratt.

For motifs, we are thinking to do something along the lines of an Ernst Haeckel jellyfish or other sea creatures.

Here is the sketch I did based on my ideas above.

The bodice will be fully boned with a lace up back.

I will trim it with tulle and flowers made of some of the accent colors of silk .  The panels of the bodice will feature some of placed flock printing towards the waist.

Lianna K's Wedding Dress

These flowers will also trim the dress in various spots.  The bustled overskirt is draped in front and back, and trimmed with tulle.  The underskirt will be covered in puffed tulle similar to the 1876 illustration.  The dress has a train and will be supported by petticoats and a bustle that I will make.  We will also do placed flock printing on the train.

As I select fabrics and begin creating the initial patterns for the dress I can rework the design further.

If you’re as excited about the Victorian era as I am, I’d love to make you a dress as well.

Using our unique muslin fitting process, we can get a great fit on a dress no matter where in the world you live and usually for less money than a dress plus the alteration costs for a factory made dress.

You send us measurements you take at home, and we make a full mock-up of the dress and send this to you to try on before we even cut the fabric.

Then we create a new pattern that is perfectly adjusted for your body, and everything is guaranteed to fit exactly the way you would like.

This means that we can draw from all of the spectacular dresses of the past to get something that is perfect for the present.

Handmade Mod Dresses

Imagine shopping for a dress when there are a virtually infinite number of choices in your size and all of them will fit you perfectly.

Imagine a catalog of dresses that includes every style of dress ever worn.

We can make the dress of your dreams.

Send us your favorite still of Audrey Hepburn or Elizabeth Taylor and we will draft a custom dress pattern for you that works with your sensibility and we will make it in your choice of thousands of possible fabrics.

The images show some  recent dresses that we made for a bridal party where each girl got to choose the style of her own dress.  These dresses are made from an elegant de-lustered satin.

We can make these same styles in a variety of wools, silks, cottons, and linens that will be perfect for your life and the events you plan to attend.

Just let us know what you might like and we will send you some swatches.

We have a variety of fitting options for customers who are local and who are from other parts of the world.

And a great fit is always guaranteed.  We make dresses in plus sizes as well!

Most dresses in this style will cost around $425 depending on fabric and fit options.

Once we have a chance to sketch some ideas and look at fabrics, we can give you an exact price.

If you are considering a custom dress, contact Lianna K (superhero@vigilantelabs.com) to get started.